gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


UK Trip Day 7: July 3, 2003

July 04, 2003 @ 14:27 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

When the British captured Nazi Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess during World War II, Winston Churchill responded “Take him to the Tower” when asked where he should be imprisoned.

We headed off to visit the Tower of London and spent a couple of hours touring the grounds. Our tour guide was one of the Yeoman Warders, affectionately known as Beefeaters because they had beef rations while most other people didn’t. His name was Simon and he was quite a character!

Anyways, we toured the Tower of London, which is actually made up of thirteen towers, two walls, a number of buildings, including a church and bits of an old Roman wall.

There are also six ravens that, which the legends say if they fly away, the Tower and the monarchy will fall. Needless to say, the Yeomen Warders clip their wings and also have a “backup” raven. These are Big Black Birds. I sat on a bench that a couple of them were perched on and got a close-up look.

We also saw the royal jewels. The maces belonging to all the past monarchs along with other things, including crowns, were on display.

Besides people being executed, only a handful of which actually occured within the walls, the Tower of London is known for torture. Prisoners were occasionally tortured using any of a number of devices, including the rack.

From the Tower of London, we walked to the base of Tower Bridge where we found an alcove called Dead Man’s Hole. According to the sign, it was used to retrieve the “many corpses that were thrown in the river from the Tower and surrounding districts”. This happened so often that there was a mortuary built in the base of the bridge.

We then wandered a bit further and went to a Starbucks in St. Catherine’s Dock. From there, we headed home via the tube.

Click here to view pictures from Day 7.

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